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Title: Risk Evaluation for CO{sub 2} Geosequestration in the Knox Supergroup

This report describes a process and provides seed information for identifying and evaluating risks pertinent to a hypothetical carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) capture and sequestration (CCS) project. In the envisioned project, the target sequestration reservoir rock is the Potosi Formation of the Knox Supergroup. The Potosi is identified as a potential target formation because (1) at least locally, it contains vuggy to cavernous layers that have very high porosity, and (2) it is present in areas where the deeper Mt. Simon Sandstone (a known potential reservoir unit) is absent or nonporous. The key report content is discussed in Section 3.3, which describes two lists of Features, Events, and Processes (FEPs) that should be considered during the design stage of such a project. These lists primarily highlight risk elements particular to the establishment of the Potosi as the target formation in general. The lists are consciously incomplete with respect to risk elements that would be relevant for essentially all CCS projects regardless of location or geology. In addition, other risk elements specific to a particular future project site would have to be identified. Sources for the FEPs and scenarios listed here include the iconic Quintessa FEPs list developed for the Internationalmore » Energy Agency Greenhouse Gas (IEAGHG) Programme; previous risk evaluation projects executed by Schlumberger Carbon Services; and new input solicited from experts currently working on aspects of CCS in the Knox geology. The projects used as sources of risk information are primarily those that have targeted carbonate reservoir rocks similar in age, stratigraphy, and mineralogy to the Knox-Potosi. Risks of using the Potosi Formation as the target sequestration reservoir for a CCS project include uncertainties about the levels of porosity and permeability of that rock unit; the lateral consistency and continuity of those properties; and the ability of the project team to identify suitable (i.e., persistently porous and permeable) injection depths within the overall formation. Less direct implications include the vertical position of the Potosi within the rock column and the absence of a laterally extensive shale caprock immediately overlying the Potosi. Based on modeling work done partly in association with this risk report, risks that should also be evaluated include the ability of available methods to predict and track the development of a CO{sub 2} plume as it migrates away from the injection point(s). The geologic and hydrodynamic uncertainties present risks that are compounded at the stage of acquiring necessary drilling and injection permits. It is anticipated that, in the future, a regional geologic study or CO{sub 2}-emitter request may identify a small specific area as a prospective CCS project site. At that point, the FEPs lists provided in this report should be evaluated by experts for their relative levels of risk. A procedure for this evaluation is provided. The higher-risk FEPs should then be used to write project-specific scenarios that may themselves be evaluated for risk. Then, actions to reduce and to manage risk can be described and undertaken. The FEPs lists provided as Appendix 2 should not be considered complete, as potentially the most important risks are ones that have not yet been thought of. But these lists are intended to include the most important risk elements pertinent to a Potosi-target CCS project, and they provide a good starting point for diligent risk identification, evaluation, and management.« less
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Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
University Of Illinois
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Country of Publication:
United States